Glera, Marca Trevigiana, Vino Frizzante Bianco
Lugano works with his good friend Eli Spagnol of Torre Zecchei in the elite Valdobbiadene district of the Veneto, tailoring a racy, vivid, beautifully brisk Prosecco to our exacting specifications. Spagnol is in charge of a mere 30 hectares—tiny by Prosecco standards—and our wine is hand-harvested from shockingly steep hillside vineyards. Made using careful temperature regulation in order to preserve delicacy and freshness, the wine is bottled with just 2 grams per liter of residual sugar, a refreshingly bone-dry offering that stands in sharp contrast to its many cloying peers. Clean, bright, and refreshing, it presents notes of acacia honey, white flowers, crunchy green apples, and tart nectarines atop a subtly mineral underlay.
Bianchetta Genovese, “ü Pastine”, Portofino Bianco
The term U Pastine is from the local dialect indicating a very special product, appropriate for this rare white grape found only in Liguria. Lugano has saved several parcels from extinction and from which he creates a truly unique white wine that is delicate, lively and satisfying, filled with vibrant minerality; it is particularly delightful when married to the white-fleshed fish that frequent the shores of this part of Liguria … the bianchetti, the nasello and tiny, exquisitely flavored langostino.
Pigato, Colline del Genovesato Bianco
Quite limited in production as it is difficult to produce and even more difficult to find the “true” variety. A wine of finesse without the body of the preceding whites but with unique and intriguing flavors that pair exceedingly well with the fish married to herbs that is traditional in Lugurian cuisine. There are two vineyard plots: the “Tenute di Trigoso” in the hills of Sestri Levante and “Verici” situated in the commune of Casarza Ligure. The wine is bottled in the spring following the harvest and rarely gets a chance to show its aging ability since the precious little quantity that is produced is consumed within the year!
Vermentino, “Vignerta”, Portofino Bianco
A more elegant expression of Vermentino, leaner than the Intrigoso” but with great complexity, showing bright acidity, brilliant length and strong minerality leavened by notes of citrus, almond, and licorice; the grapes for this cuvée are sourced from the slopes of the Campegli vineyard located in the village of Castiglione Chiavarese; approximately 100 cases per year are exported for our use in the USA.
Çimixà, “L’Antico”, Portofino Bianco
A true obscurity, indigenous Çimixà was on the brink of extinction in the 1970s when a local pastry chef sourced a mere 500 vines purported to be Çimixà and planted them together in a single plot. Pierluigi’s “L’Antico” (“the ancient one”) is resplendent of fruit, viscous and salty as his other whites, but it is the sumptuous mouthfeel of the Çimixà that grabs the attention first, driven by chalk minerality with a sense of heft and solidity. It is fermented and aged on its lees in large stainless steel tanks after undergoing a three-day pre-fermentation skin maceration. We should count ourselves fortunate that such a characterful variety was saved from elimination and is produced in such a boldly delicious fashion as at Bisson.
“Marea”, Cinque Terre
Made from a blend of several traditional local grape varieties: Bosco (60% of the blend), Vermentino (20%) and Albarola (20%). The vineyards that produce this wine are situated on south-facing slopes in the hamlet of Volastra in the town of Riomaggiore, the heart of the breathtaking Cinque Terre region. In this instance, Lugano opts to leave this cuvée on the lees for an extended period of time, respecting the old traditions of the region. The result is a full-bodied, earthy wine of immense character, almost briny, with a deeper golden tint to its color than is found in his other whites and marked by the aromas of heather, broom and juniper.
Ciliegiolo, Portofino Rosato
Is a traditional red grape variety that is rarely seen. Piero Lugano vinifies it to showcase its light and fruity character. When presenting it, we group this wine with our classic series of Rosés as it is released in the spring following the prior year’s harvest. Lugano proudly maintains this variety in both the Trigoso and Campegli vineyards situated in the hills above Sestri Levante and Chiavari, respectively. It is vinified dry, tastes of red cherry and wild berries and its brilliant cherry color is a particular joy to behold. Approximately 400 cases are imported for the US market annually.
Granaccio, Colline del Genovesato Rosso
The sole red in our portfolio from Lugano is made from the Granaccio grape, better known as Grenache. At home in this coastal Mediterranean climate, this powerful wine is produced from Lugano’s prime vineyard site “Tenute di Trigoso” on steeply-sloped hills in Sestri Levante. The wine is dense and carries the dominant flavor of ripe blackberries, an aromatically compelling hint of pine resin and an intriguing bitterness to the finish. Aged in stainless steel, “Il Granaccio” is bottled in late summer of the year following harvest.